For all website owners, site security is not something you should neglect, especially SSL security. Without an SSL, you’re putting your users at risk of data theft, and most browsers will flag your site as not secure without one. But what if you don’t know the difference between Wildcard certificates and Multi-domain certificates? That can make it hard to choose the right SSL for your site situation.
Not to worry, in this blog, we’ll go through the SSL certificates available based on your domain type. But first, let’s have a primer on SSL certificates and why they’re so important.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL certificates are simple digital certificates you can install on your website’s server to foster an encrypted link between your site and anyone visiting via a web browser (AKA their client). This means that any information sent over the connection will be kept private from malicious actors. All they’ll see is scrambled data that makes no sense. This is especially important if you ask users to hand over sensitive data like credit card or social security numbers. Most current SSL certificates offer 256-bit encryption, which means that the key it uses to encrypt and decrypt data is 256 bits long. This key length cannot be guessed by anyone, not even the world’s strongest supercomputer, and certainly not a run-of-the-mill hacker.
The three main SSL types
Okay, so now that you know what an SSL does and why you need one, let’s go through the different SSL types based on the number of domains you own. These three certificates are:
- Single-domain SSL: This is ideal if you just have one website you want to secure.
- Multi-domain SSL: This SSL protects multiple websites. From three to 100.
- Wildcard SSL: This is the one that often throws people off. This domain secures one primary domain and unlimited subdomains of one level linked to it. So if your site is exmaple.com, it will also protect sites that look like *.example.com. One of its main appeals is that it will also automatically protect any subdomains you create later.
Now that you know the three main SSL types, it should be pretty easy to pick one. Simply count your domains and subdomains and go from there!
SSL certificates can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the language, but once you familiarize yourself with a few key terms, it should become second nature. Hopefully, you’ll find it easier to pick the best SSL for your site!